Wildfires around B.C. are causing poor air quality in many areas of the province and are expected to worsen.

The wildfire risk around the province is a concern and there are a number of evacuation orders and alerts in place. British Columbians are urged to exercise caution and remain vigilant to help prevent human-caused wildfires. The best way to protect yourself from the effects of wildfire smoke is to reduce your exposure by sheltering in place.

There is growing evidence that exposure to seasonal wildfire smoke may have longer-lasting impacts on people’s health. Smoky air can make it harder for your lungs to get oxygen to your blood. Fine particulate matter carries the greatest risk to people’s health because it can be inhaled deep into the lungs and cause inflammation and irritation. Smoke can also irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.

Exposure to wildfire smoke and the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in both respiratory symptoms, such as a dry cough, sore throat, or difficulty breathing. Use the B.C. COVID-19 self-assessment tool to help determine whether you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.

Health and wellness

Poor air quality can be harmful to health, especially for those with chronic conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, or diabetes, pregnant people, infants and children, and older adults.

Take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Here are some tips for breathing easier during wildfire smoke events:

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